Statebeach Stories

Random memories here and there of my dad, Thomas F. Crosby, Jr.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

354 Orlena


My grandmother, Lucille Crosby, was an amazing woman. Among many other impressive accomplishments, she designed and oversaw the construction of the Crosby family house at 354 Orlena, across from the Colorado Lagoon, in Long Beach. Directly across the street is what is now known as the Crosby Green Space. From there Dad, Brett, and I would often take a bucket of TFC Sr.'s old golf balls (another story) and whack them into the lagoon. I think Dad was always a little disappointed we weren't natural golf talents, but we did manage to get the occasional nice shot off. From paintings Dad did when I was a little kid, I know his fantasy was to have a golf prodigy for a kid, but alas, we were neither that nor great tennis or piano players. The paintings show me carrying a golf club much taller than myself, which I'm sure gave him visions of a Tiger Woods-like rise to PGA greatness. Sorry about that Dad.

Anyway, when Grandma died (which devastated him, another story for later) Brett and I tried to prevail upon Dad and JP to keep the house, but Dad was adamant that he didn't want to be a landlord. JP was sort of indifferent, preferring that someone from the family live there if we were to keep it. In the end it was sold for a pittance ($350k maybe?) and the new owners proceeded to tear it down and build a massive McMansion on the site, right up to the property line on all sides. A hideous monster. I think that really depressed Dad, as it erased so many great memories and his last real connection to his parents. I know it really made me sad. But I learned a lesson -- never sell real estate you care about. The new owners can never be trusted, so only sell if you want to make a buck, but couldn't care less if it's razed the next day, as it likely will be.

-SC

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